A new research center to tackle the threat of lifestyle diseases — medical conditions such as obesity that are caused or aggravated by a person’s own behavior — will be established at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in the heart of the Roanoke Innovation District.
Scientists and clinicians throughout Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic will join forces at the new VTCRI Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors in a strategic effort to protect the health of people in Virginia and the United States. The initiative will be led by two authorities in lifestyle disease research — Warren Bickel, the Virginia Tech Carilion Behavioral Health Research Professor, and Matthew Hulver, the head of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. Read more...
2017 Aspire! Award for Ut Prosim: HNFE senior Jacob Long
Recent graduating senior Jacob Long's philosophy is simple: embrace Ut Prosim as a way of life. Long has dual degrees in Psychology and HNFE, was a student leader with VT Engage, a mentor for the SERVE Living Learning Community, and a research assistant with the Psychology Department’s Mind-Body Lab. He worked with researchers on VT Project SMYLE in Human Development, compiling articles on the topic of LGBTQ+ disclosure to family and friends. He has been a teaching assistant, camp counselor, coaching intern, physical therapy volunteer, and shift manager for 209 Manna Ministries, the campus food pantry run by and for Virginia Tech students.
David Brown and Ph.D. student Justin Perry attended the European Society for Cardiology Heart Failure 2017 meeting in Paris in May.
Perry presented in the Young Investigator Award session and received the runner-up prize for his presentation.
Rising senior Seyi Olusina has been selected as the undergraduate student representative to the Board of Visitors next year. "I will represent the undergraduates and be eyes and ears for the board to help them stay up to date on the different moods on campus and bring up important issues. I will also work on initiatives that I came up with and help other leadership groups achieve what they are working on," said Olusina, who is completing minors in communications and psychology. Once he graduates, he plans to attend physical therapy school or become a hospital administrator. Seyi is also one of the first Keystone Fellows and is on the Student Advisory Board (Student Life Council) for the Division of Student Affairs. Learn more about his inclusivity work at Virginia Tech.
Janet Rankin presented "Active Transportation for a Healthy, Sustainable Planet" at Westfield State University. Her presentation focused on areas of health, including the body, the environment, and transportation.
A diaBEAT-IT study participant lost 130 pounds and regained his health and life! Former HNFE faculty Fabio Almeida and Paul Estabrooks led this collaborative study between the department and Carilion Clinic. Co-investigators were Rick Seidel, Brenda Davy, Zhiyong Cheng, and Mark Greenawald. Sarah Wall was the study manager and had research assistance from Ashley Hash, Nick Bilbro, and many other students for the last five years.
Internship alumni in the news:
Elise Deming is one of several registered dietitians at New Jersey ShopRite locations sharing their expertise with children across South Jersey in a program called KidsFit. "KidsFit is a cooking class that involves nutrition education, healthy recipes, grocery-store scavenger hunts, and much more that involves many kids and their families," said Demings who is a retail dietitian with two stores. "This program is so essential to ShopRite right now because it combats childhood obesity," said Demings. "That is a huge problem, and this teaches kids how to bring health and wellness, healthy foods, and great cooking skills into their home."
Congratulations to recent Internship graduate Jenny Dang, who was honored with the 2017 Cindy Reeser Undergraduate DPD/Dietetic Intern Award. This recognizes the emerging leadership and achievement of undergraduate students and dietetic interns in ACEND-accredited and approved dietetics education programs and encourages their participation in the DC Metro Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Congratulations to Heather Cox, who was selected as the Area 6 Outstanding Dietetic Educator in the Didactic Program in Dietetics category for 2017! The award recognizes the teaching, mentoring, and leadership activities of faculty and preceptors in dietetics education programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. The selection of awardees is determined by the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Area 6 consists of all programs in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
David Brown leads a team that examines molecular-level problems of heart disease. In a recent study, they teamed up with cardiologists and heart therapy scientists from across the U.S. and Europe and found that dysfunction at the molecular level is present in heart failure. Understanding this abnormality could lead to new approaches for treating the No. 1 killer among men and women worldwide.
Along with directors Carol Papillon and Amy LaFalce, all 16 Virginia Tech dietetic interns visited state legislators at the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day in Richmond. Speakers included Virginia First Lady Dorothy MacAuliffe, who spoke about the collaborative role in overcoming child hunger, and Sandy Curwood, the new director of School Nutrition Programs. Two interns also attended the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Legislative Day.
Vivica Kraak has been awarded a 2017 Fulbright Scholar Award to teach and conduct research on food policy and nutrition in Denmark. Kraak will spend four months in Copenhagen at the Metropolitan University College, where she will be a visiting professor for the college’s undergraduate global nutrition and health degree. She will also spend her time in the Nordic country researching sodium reduction in the nation’s food supply.
The 2017 Summer Hepler Fellowship students, faculty mentors, and their research focus:
Bailey Houghtaling (Elena Serrano)
Rural and urban food-retailer willingness to alter the food environment in promotion of healthful food and beverage purchases for low-income consumers
Jing Luo (Dongmin Liu)
Novel role of GPR30 in adipogenesis
Olivia Privitera (Brenda Davy)
Influence of a high-fat diet on delayed discounting, reward responses, and dietary cognitive restraint